In a recent case, a Saskatchewan court awarded a victim over $6.7 million dollars in damages after an assault left him with permanent physical and mental injuries.

What Happened?

On July 29, 2006, the then seventeen-year old victim had just completed grade eleven. That weekend, he was camping with friends in a national park when the accused struck the victim on the right side of the head with a piece of firewood.

Immediately after the assault, the victim was taken to hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition. He received emergency surgery to reduce intercranial pressure on his brain. He then suffered numerous strokes and had to undergo a further surgery which left him in an “uninduced vegetative state”. He also experienced other serious medical procedures as well as several hospital-based infections. He eventually entered a rehabilitation programme and received therapies which focused on recovering elementary skills such as controlling his bodily functions, holding his head up, and verbally communicating. Though he was not expected to walk again, by October 2006, he was able to move his legs and walk a short distance.

He remained in the rehabilitation centre until January 25, 2007, 181 days after he was assaulted. He then returned home to live with his mother and, as of the date of trial twelve years later, he remained with her. As a result of hissevere brain injury, the victim was left with serious mental injuries and issues.

Because the attack was unprovoked, the accused was convicted of the criminal offence of aggravated assault and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months in a federal penitentiary. He served his time.

The victim sued the accused for damages in 2008. The accused did not present a defence; as a result, a 2009 judgment was entered against him.

The victim then brought an application for an assessment of the damages he suffered because of the assault. For various procedural reasons, the case was only heard in 2019.

The victim claimed pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages under several separate headings.

Decision

The accused did not attend the trial; as a result, the evidence put forth by the victim was left unchallenged.

The court awarded damages against the accused for all the claims made by the victim, as follows:

 

  • General or Non-Pecuniary Damages        $342,000
  • Past Cost of Care                                               $48,200
  • Future Cost of Care                                          $406,026
  • Loss of Future Housekeeping Capacity   $200,000
  • Past Loss of Income                                         $1,075,025
  • Future Loss of Income                                    $4,462,264
  • Subrogated SHSP Claim                                $185,524

Total                                                                     $6,719,039 

For Help

Being the victim of a physical or sexual assault is a traumatic and devastating experience for anyone, and this is magnified in situations where the victim suffers lasting or permanent physical or psychological damage. We understand that seeking help in such situations is in and of itself a difficult step, and our skilled and caring personal injury lawyers will work with you each step of the way to ensure that you are protected, well-informed and that you obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.

When you meet with a personal injury lawyer at Petker Campbell Postnikoff with respect to injuries suffered in an assault or sexual assault, we will begin by reviewing the relevant details with you and work to secure all available evidence. It is important to do this as early as possible, in order to preserve physical evidence and obtain witness statements while memories are still fresh.

Another initial focus will be ensuring that you receive all necessary medical attention for your injuries, so that you can start working on recovery right away. We want to ensure that you can concentrate on what is most important – your physical and mental well-being. We will connect you with our trusted network of medical professionals so that you can get to work on healing while we handle the other details on your behalf.

Please contact us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation with our caring and experienced personal injury lawyers. To reach a member of our firm, you can call us at 519-886-1204 or contact us online. We will work to maximize your compensation while shielding you from unnecessary additional stress following a traumatic event. We offer prospective personal injury clients a free initial consultation.